The Riverside County Animal Services said in a Facebook post the incident happened in Coachella after a woman was captured on surveillance video around 1 p.m. pulling up in a Jeep and getting out of the vehicle carrying a plastic bag.
The woman can then be seen walking towards a dumpster used for recycling materials and dropping the clear, plastic bag next to the bin before driving away.
“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said in a statement. “Especially in today’s age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act."
About an hour later, a passerby named John was rummaging through the trash discovered the puppies still alive, according to officials.
A woman was captured on surveillance video dumping a bag of puppies behind a dumpster in Coachella, California on Thursday. (Riverside County Animal Services)
In total, there were 7 puppies inside the bag. All were 3 days old and were believed to be terrier mixes.
Officials said had it not been for the Good Samaritan's actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer since temperatures in Coachella on Thursday were into the mid-90's.
“The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies’ lives,” Mayer said. “His actions were humane and heroic.”
The puppies are now being cared for by a rescue shelter in Orange County, FOX11 reported.
The Riverside Animal Services Department is now hoping that someone will recognize the woman and turn her in. Mayer, who called the woman’s actions "despicable," said he's been in contact with investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff Office and the District Attorney’s office, who said she could face animal cruelty charges.